ABSTRACT: Evidence has now accumulated to sustain the idea that pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) is not pregnancy specific: it can be localized immunohistochemically in nonpregnant human endometrium. Thus, it was of interest to see if a primary cell culture of human endometrial cells was capable of producing PAPP-A.
Immunoreactive PAPP-A-like material was detected in the culture medium of glandular as well as stromal cells. The presence of PAPP-A in endometrial culture medium was specific and could not be attributed to a nonspecific protease effect on the tracer used in radioimmunoassay. The production rate of PAPP-A by stromal cells could be enhanced by the addition of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). Estradiol (E2) alone or in combination with MPA did not modify the production rate of PAPP-A. The production rate of PAPP-A by glandular cells remained unchanged after treatment with MPA and/or E2. These results confirm that in nonpregnant women PAPP-A is a progesterone-dependent protein produced by the endometrium.